Smith, Mariam / The history of Omro
Mills, factories, and shops, pp. 113-116
113 MILLS, FACTORIES, AND SHOPS Now to the reviewing of the industrial progress as witnessed in 0mro. Many mills and factories were erected during the boom years of the 1850s, 60s, and 70s. There was considerable buying and selling. Some men were promotors and frequently sold an establishment soon after the building and initial operation. Owners frequently changed partners in business. Historians do not always agree on dates of a business nor the exact locations. The following is a partial directory of the businesses and the probable year in which they were in operation or were erected: 1847-Nelson Beckwith in Beckwithtown, built and operated the first lumber mill. Norman Gerard writes that "Beckwith built a small steam saw mill in Be ckwithtown, but this mill did not prove a fi- p-licinl -nnn~. nd later1 rtmcmedthe rnhc~nerrv nearlT the Wisom consn ri Vel. 18. 147-Elisha Dean built a lImnber plant on the present woolen mill site. 1 iS-Hiram Johns,"Johnson's" saw and planing mill was located on ' - the north side of the river east of the coorerts factory. 1851-Hiram Johnson & Roy Bump owned another saw mill on the north side, on what is now E. River Drive. This mill was located wherr the first sewage plant stands. In 1866 the mill burned down, but was rebuilt immediately. 1l55-Nornman G-rard bought the Johnsonr miil "in company with at'n Eley, a wealthy farmer near Ripon. He Was soon sick of his deal and sold to Dr. Gibbs, who had no capital and no knowledge of the business." This indicates that some people were "plungersS in those early days, too. Later Gerardlsold his interest to \ Nathan Johnson. \ 1356-WJilson' s and Johnson' s saw mills were run both day and nigrht. 7 , Y W"Vden they closed down in the fall there was but littlelm left in their yards. There was so much buIlding taking place in the area around that material sold rapidly. 1856-57-Andrew Wilson. The mill was located where the G.A.R. Hall - i%stands, now Americai Legion hall. -l6-,c.a",-laen grist mill. This operation brought considerable trade . to the town. Ground corn and wheat were a necessity for the A\ j' settlers, used extensively in making breads, puddings, and in other baking. Thus a m'.ll near by was a blessing. These mills were also referred to as roller mills, Later Abr. Ti,,cLaren moved to Waukau. ,1856-Challoner & Thompson. They operated a saw mill built on the -,'1 a 11 o*ner N"", T o,- * s" . Th sa "A, resent i.0.0.F. hall site. , -3159or 60-E.A. Buck & Co. were'oat builders. Their factory was perhaps the one located near the present home of Ernie Hellwig. W-V1860(-Lewisrm Thompson. Their shingle mill ran day and night. No. I S , I n., 1_!s 'sold at e5.G0O a thousand. P?,-t4 , ,,.\1383O-Utter & Goodenough operated a spoke and hub factory for several ,N ( A~ years near the Omro Lumber Co. site. These hubs were used for ',l,;<' wagon and carridge wheels. / "863-Geo. Challoner built a shingle mill later occupied by Thompson & ° \Y\Hayward. He put in a shingle machine of his own invention, and \\; /did a good business. ¢,,t?,i"863-Calvin C. (Cab) Morton operated a wood-working factory south I ~~~"Manuf acturer andDelrn \ f the depot. An 1894 ad reads," Dealer in "VSjsh Doors, Blinds, Moldings and Berry Boxes Tanks and Cisterns made to order." Apparently in business a long time, 20 or 30 years.
This material may be protected by copyright law (e.g., Title 17, US Code).| Original material owned by Omro Public Library.| For information on re-use, see http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright